With the summer coming and after more than a year of confinement, we would all like to show off a beautiful little healthy complexion with a tanned appearance. However, dermatologists and beauticians have been warning us about the impact of sun exposure on the appearance and aging of our skin for several years. We are even recommended to apply creams with an increasingly high and almost permanent sun protection factor (SPF)! Being myself a fervent follower of a naturally tanned complexion and as a naturopath sensitized to the importance of the optimal intake of vitamin D, I humbly admit to you that I have never followed these recommendations. However, I get complimented on the appearance of my skin regularly, so I thought I'd share some of my beauty tips with you.
Brushed or on the grill, that is the question ...
After having reprimanded us and threatened with skin cancer for years if we dared to point the tip of the nose outside without creaming, we now realize more and more that the famous sunscreens do not only have advantages. . First of all, let's know that an SPF of 15 blocks 99% of the absorption of UV rays and therefore of the conversion of vitamin D inside our body. When we know the many benefits of this famous vitamin or (pro) hormone on our health and we know that 14 million Canadians do not reach the blood level (very minimal) of 50 nmol / L of 25-hydroxyvitamin- D (25-OH-D) established by Health Canada, one can understand my lack of enthusiasm at the sight of parents brushing their children with white cream almost compulsively in addition to covering them like zombies as soon as they are seated. 'expose to the sun! Let's take a closer look at these (in) famous sunscreens.
Next, sunscreens usually contain chemical filters, a combination of 2 to 6 of the following ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. According to the US environmental organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), the most problematic chemical filter is the ubiquitous oxybenzone, which can penetrate the skin and cause allergic reactions, in addition to being an endocrine disruptor. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bodies of 97% of Americans were contaminated with this molecule in 2003. [i] Another worrying phenomenon, the dispersion of oxybenzone and 3 other active ingredients of sunscreen has been linked to the phenomena of coral bleaching and massive coral mortality. A recent study published by the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology in 2015 found a direct causal link between the use of sunscreens and declining coral health. [ii]
For their part, mineral sunscreens are made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, usually present in the form of nanoparticles. Although based on current data they are considered to present a lower risk than most other sunscreen ingredients, there are warnings about their ingestion by inhalation through powdered cosmetics, for example. That being said, I regularly see excessive levels of titanium in the children I see in consultation, especially because they are sprayed with the cream.
If you choose to use sunscreens anyway, keep in mind that chemicals such as titanium and oxybenzone have a cumulative and in some cases synergistic effect. In addition, their safety profile has not been established in this regard. We should also test our vitamin D level and make sure to supplement, if necessary.
If after your research you decide to limit the use of creams containing a chemical or mineral SPF and instead opt for gradual and intelligent exposure to the sun, here are the points to consider.
1. Gradual exposure. We should always expose ourselves to the sun gradually and never exceed our tolerance threshold. At first, avoid periods of strong sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and make sure to cover yourself or take shade the rest of the time. As the production of melanin increases and our complexion darkens, we may increase exposure.
2. Hydration. Water is the basic molecule from which our body is made. Since the skin contains 70% of it, it is essential to ensure that you are well hydrated at all times. I prefer spring water as close as possible to 100 ppm of minerals like Eska water. We also hydrate through diet by choosing foods containing more than 90% water such as cucumber, lettuce, zucchini and squash, tomatoes, watermelon and berries. Vegetables and fruits are also loaded with beneficial minerals and antioxidants.
3. Antioxidants. Even while minimizing our exposure to UV rays, we are constantly bombarded with free radicals that age our skin. Antioxidants act as a protective sheath by binding to the unstable electron of free radicals to prevent attacking collagen fibers and various structural cells of the skin. Classic antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10, zinc, and beta-carotene are popular both internally and topically. Plant extracts such as those from green tea, pomegranates, coffee fruits, grape seeds, etc. reveal their virtues to us.
4. Astaxanthin. In terms of the new ’antioxidants brought to light by science over the past 10 years, astaxanthin is now considered the most potent that nature has to offer. It is a carotenoid produced by unicellular algae such as Haematococcus pluvialis in response to environmental stress, including exposure to UV rays. Taking an astaxanthin supplement of 4 to 20 mg per day orally for at least 2 weeks before sun exposure helps prepare the skin while promoting resistance to sunburn. In addition to reducing wrinkles and aging spots, astaxanthin has many other benefits including protection against cataracts, improved physical endurance, reduced inflammation and protection of the brain.
5. Proteins. Within the dermis, collagen and elastin maintain the tone and elasticity of the skin. These are structural proteins, the renewal of which is facilitated by a sufficient supply of dietary proteins. It is possible to stimulate collagen production by choosing foods rich in lysine (eggs, meat and poultry, soy, legumes, cheese and fish) or collagen. Protein deficiencies are common, especially in women. Aim for an intake of around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. If necessary, do not hesitate to use a protein supplement such as whey (whey) to achieve your goal.
6. Good fats. Encourage the consumption of healthy fats such as olive oil which is rich in oleic acid, one of the fatty acids that help keep the skin and cell membranes supple and fight inflammation. It also contains vitamin E and polyphenols. Sources of omega-3 are also preferred, in food form or via supplements. When applied topically, I love Tahitian Monoi Oil, a maceration of the tiare flower (Gardenia tahitensis) in coconut oil. This delicate blend with the scent of paradise soothes, nourishes and regenerates skin and hair while enveloping them in a delicate veil of fragrance. This is my favorite after-sun and anti-blues treatment all year round!
This is not a cliché, healthy looking skin is truly a reflection of our inner state. There are no miracle creams or panacea that can substitute for our poor diet and lifestyle choices. It is a daily job, the results of which are not spectacular at first glance, but the cumulative effect of which is really lasting.
In closing, I tell you that the most effective anti-aging serum is definitely Love! Have you ever seen someone in love look bad? I can already hear you grumble that we do not all have the chance to be in love or in love, but I am telling you that love is a choice and that it is not necessary to be accompanied. experience! The real secret to a radiant complexion is to glow from within.
[i] Calafat AM, Wong L-Y, Ye X, Reidy JA et Needham LL « Concentrations of the Sunscreen Agent Benzophenone-3 in Residents of the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003–2004 » Environmental Health Perspectives 2008;116(7):893–897. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxybenzone#cite_note-10 [ii] Katie Dowd, « Study shows sunscreen is killing coral reefs in tourist areas », San Francisco Chronicle, 21 octobre 2015. https://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Study-shows-sunscreen-is-killing-coral-reefs-in-6581861.php